Digital Health in LMICs

Health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) continue to face considerable challenges in providing high-quality, affordable and universally accessible healthcare. In response, policy-makers, donors and programme implementers are searching for innovative ways to eradicate the geographic and financial barriers to health. This has resulted in mounting interest in the potential of digital health in LMICs.

We want to learn from you:

    What are some of the successes of digitized health in low- and middle-income countries? What are the key areas to be focused on for effective scaling of digital health in low- and middle-income countries?

Hi @joshnesbit, @jda, @stepet, @jonc101 and @barati - You may have thoughts on successes of digital health in low- and middle-income countries. Join the discussion. Thanks.

Hey @rajpanda, @timothymusila, @Lizzy_2020, @Riika and @ajchenx - What are your experiences on digital health in low- and middle-income countries. Share your thoughts. Thanks.

The biggest challenge is with getting tech and access to the Internet is those locations. The latter will be solved by starlink, however when the device needed on-site represents a years wages to a family, getting the tech there and keeping it there is a major challenge.

@CHardaker - Thanks Chris for sharing your thoughts. Do you know of any case study, wherein they were able to overcome this challenge.

I don’t know of any cases where this was overcome other than by leaving the area and taking all equipment. Leaving that area then breaks the data capture process and the system fails.

On Diagnostics:
Matibabu (Uganda) is a kit to better diagnose malaria, with a simple mobile application attached to a hardware “matiscope”. On the low-tech side, Stanford scientist Manu Prakash developed an ultra low-cost hand-powered centrifuge, made of paper, string, and plastic, that could revolutionize diagnostics.

Brain Health:
The FDA-cleared assessment battery to record and analyze eye-tracking impairment, EYE-SYNC is backed by 15 years of clinical research. EYE-SYNC oculomotor and oculovestibular assessments provide clinicians with actionable, objective data in less than a minute. From the clinic to remote medical facilities, EYE-SYNC can go anywhere a clinician goes. “The Window to the Brain”.

Thanks @bngejane for sharing details about these amazing digital health devices.
Hi @a1m2r3h4, @RahulJindal, @SArora, @kenjisuzuki - You may have thoughts on successes of digital health in low- and middle-income countries. Join the discussion. Thanks.

Project ECHO’s work in India and Africa are examples of successes in digital health in LMIC’s. In India, where we have 33 Hubs across 11 states addressing over 20 disease areas, the ECHO Model has been widely adopted and recognized as a low-cost highly effective model for building capacity in rural and underserved communities, increasing the access to this quality and cost-effective care. To amplify access to care, we partner with the Ministry of Health on 5 national programs focusing on Eliminating Tuberculosis, Viral Hepatitis C, Cancer Screening, Mental Health, and a National Health Systems Resource Center. These areas traditionally have been treated by specialists, but with far too few specialists, rural and underserved communities often don’t have adequate access to this care. Key to building this capacity lies in task-shifting, and training, using the ECHO Model, Primary Care Physicians, Nurses, ASHA workers, etc to provide this specialty care.

In Africa, we started with a pilot in Namibia and have since spread to 12 countries across many disease areas. In partnership with the Africa CDC and the African Union, we have a Global Health Security Program using the ECHO Model to implement international health regulations in 40 countries across Africa.

When the pandemic came along, with national networks already in place, we were able to pivot and quickly start addressing COVID-19 preparedness, response, and care.

These examples illustrate the importance of building capacity through task shifting, and partnering with local experts to be culturally relevant and build trust in the community.

Thanks @SArora for sharing these experiences. It helps to learn about all these initiatives. @mhackett - Hi Maree, We have started a new prize design in Frontline Health. I feel you have some experience in digital health as well. If so, please share it with us.

Hello @addy_kulkarni, @Haruyo, @DrAhimsa and @anitasmoore - you may have some thoughts on digital health in low- and middle income countries. Join the discussion.

You might want to look at some of these and their associated publications:

Thanks @mhackett for sharing details of the smart health project.
Hello @praveenraja, @elayer, @creativiti, @uniyalbandana, @alafiasam - You may have some knowledge / experience on digital health successes. Join the discussion to share your experience. Thanks.

Hi @Nvargas2, @aroamer, @PHall, @siimsaare and @nowellk - Please share your thoughts on Digital Health in low- and middle-income countries. Thanks.

I am attaching an email message wherein Mr. Aditya Kulkarni shared some digital health success stories.